Friday the 13th – How my Mother Loved Superstitions

Hi friends!

Happy Friday the 13th!  Anybody feeling a bit unlucky today?

Friday 13Th, Unlucky, Friday, 13Th

Recently I was thinking of my parents (who are in Heaven now) and I remembered how my mother loved superstitions. She would abide by them herself, and she liked others to abide by them, too. I would sometimes get tired of them and call them stupercitions (alluding to the fact that I thought they were stupid). Now however, I would give anything to hear her tell me I had to sit down, when I forgot something and had to come back after I had already gone out the door at her house, or that I should make sure to go out the same door I came in, or to have her guide me around the outside of a ladder because it was bad luck to walk under it, or even scold me for opening an umbrella in the house, etc.

There are many superstitions that we may follow without even thinking about them. We have heard them so often, we just accept them and sometimes live by them. They have been passed down through the generations for so long; and we will most likely pass them down to our children and grandchildren. I’m sure there may be more that you remember that haven’t been mentioned; and I hope you feel free to use the comment section to tell me others you remember, that I have forgotten, or never knew.


Common Superstitions:

Wedding Bells, Bells, Love, Marriage


  • It is bad luck for the bridegroom to see the bride before the wedding.
    A lot of brides and grooms abide by this even to this day.
  • For good luck the bride should wear:
  • Something old
  • Something new
  • Something borrowed
  • And something blue

Many brides still search for something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.


Cake, Birthday, Fly, Blue, Sky, Cloth


  • Make a wish, blow out all the candles on your birthday cake, and your wish will come true

This one is still a common practice at birthday parties.  It has become a tradition.



Lucky Clover, Four Leaf Clover, Klee

For good luck:

  • Cross your fingers for good luck.

Admit it, you do this one, don’t you?

  • Four leaf clovers are good luck.

If you find a lucky four leaf clover, do you press it in a book.  That’s what we used to do.

  • Horse shoes are good luck.
  • If you hang them, you must hang them upside down, so the luck doesn’t run out.

This one is one of the ones my mother and dad used.  You could often find a horse shoe hanging

upside down on the front of a shed.  Be careful not to turn it the other way; because your luck

will run out.  I saved one they had painted for a souvenir.

  • If you spill the salt, throw it over your left shoulder for good luck.

A family with four children gets a lot of spilled salt.  This was a common saying at our kitchen table.

  • Carry a rabbit’s foot with you for good luck.

My mother always carried a rabbit foot around in her purse for good luck.  I found her rabbit foot in

her purse, after she was gone, I saved it for remembering her.  I don’t think this one is very popular

anymore.  Maybe because of animal rights?


Friday, Cat, Superstition, Invention

Bad Luck:

  • Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.

Hey!  That’s today!!  Maybe you’d better be careful if you go out today.

  • Bad luck comes in threes.

My mother used to say deaths came in threes.

  • It is bad luck to walk under a ladder. You must go around it.

I have many memories, as a child, of my mother guiding me around a step ladder and saying

it was bad luck to go under it.  I still have a little trouble walking under one.

  • It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house.

Many times my sister or I were scolded for trying to bring our umbrella in to the house to dry.

And if I wanted to play with an umbrella when I was little, I had to go outside.

  • Breaking a mirror will bring you 7 years of bad luck.

Now I know you have heard this one.  How awful to break a mirror!  7 years is a long time!

  • Rocking an unoccupied rocking chair is bad luck.

This is another one that I got scolded for.  Little children love to rock rocking chairs,

and it is easier when no one’s in it.  Right?

  • When a bird flies into your window pane, it means someone is going to die.

There are many people who would swear that this one is a fact.  They get very distressed

if some poor unfortunate bird flies into their window pane.  Someone is going to die!

  • A black cat crossing your path is bad luck.

This is another that many people still believe.  Some people think black cats are bad luck,

period.  I have heard it is harder to get people to adopt black cats from shelters.  I love

black cats.  I don’t think I have had any bad luck from them walking in front of me either.

  • If you tell a bad dream before breakfast is over, it is bad luck.

I was never allowed to tell my dreams before breakfast was over.  I’m not sure why this

is supposed to be bad luck.  I think my mother said the bad dream would come true, if I

told it before breakfast was over.


Things you should and shouldn’t do:


  • If you start to leave a house you are visiting, and come back in because

you forgot something, you must sit down before leaving again.

Many was the time that I would forget my jacket, or forget to tell my mother something,

and I’d come back in to fetch it and leave.  “You have to sit down”, my mother would say.

Most of the time I would just humor her; sometimes I would mock sit on my thumb.

  • Say butter bread to counteract bad luck.

When ever we would do one of the things that was supposed to be bad luck, we could

say butter bread and counteract the bad luck we had brought on ourselves.

  • Make sure you leave the house by the same door you came in.

This was a house rule.  Always go back out the door you came in.  Even if it means

going the long way around.  No matter.  It’s bad luck to do otherwise.

  • If you swallow a watermelon seed, you will become pregnant.

I think the gist of this one is that if you swallow the seed, the watermelon will grow

in your stomach.  I used to worry about this one a bit.

  • If you sweep the floor at night; don’t gather the dirt until morning.

There were many times my mother would sweep the floor at night; but she just swept

it into a pile near a corner and put the broom over it, until it could be safely cleaned

up in the light of day.

  • If everything on the table is eaten; it will be a clear day tomorrow.

My parents used this one a lot.  I think they may have narrowed it down to, if we eat

everything on our plate it would be a clear day.  I used it on them to get them to eat

better when they were elderly.  Sometimes it worked.

  • Knock on wood to stave off bad luck or protect good luck.

This is one that should be familiar to you.  How many times have you said something,

and then as an afterthought, you say, “Knock on wood”.  The joke at our house was

trying to knock on someone’s head (was this calling them a block head?)

  • Never say thank you to someone who has given you a plant; or it will die.

My mother had a green thumb and would often give plants to other people.  She would

quickly tell them not to thank her, because the plant would die, if they did.

Bird, Tweeting, Singing, Melody, Song

Cute little saying superstitions:


  • Sing before breakfast; cry before supper.

I would hear this if I got up in a happy mood and started to hum, or worse yet burst

out in song.  Sing before breakfast; cry before supper.  Since I didn’t want to be

crying before supper, I usually hushed pretty quickly.

  • Step on a crack; break your mother’s back.

I remember trying to take some pretty big steps with short legs, trying to avoid the

dreaded cracks.  I really wanted my mother’s back to remain in tact.

  • See a penny, pick it up, all the day have good luck.

Now I know you have said this one.  How many pick up a penny they find on the ground,

and repeat this little saying to someone near (or to themselves).  Come on, admit it.

  • Change the name and not the letter; change for worse instead of better.

My mother liked to say this one when anyone married and the woman’s maiden name

happened to start with the same letter as her new married name.  I never paid attention

to how this worked out; but judging from the divorce rate, it might have been right.

  • Play with matches and you will pee the bed.

I was afraid of matches and fire, so my brothers usually heard this one.  I’m not sure

if this one was true or not either.  I don’t think they would admit it, if it were.

  • Cold hands, warm heart.

I still say this one.  It is so familiar and many people say it.  It is almost a term of

endearment.  You may have cold hands; but you have a warm heart.

  • An itchy palm mean you are going to get money.

This is one my mother usually said if her hand or someone else’s got itchy.  I don’t

think this one worked out though.  I wish it did; because I often get itchy palms.

  • If your nose is itchy, you are going to get a letter.

My mother always said it this way.  I think some people say that someone is thinking

about you.  I think there might be some others, too.


Family meals:


Turkey, Oven, Roasted, Thanksgiving


  • You can wish on the wishbone taken out of the chicken or turkey breast.
  • Two people make a wish, then they take hold of the upper ends of the v shaped bone
  • and pull until it breaks. The person who ends up with the larger part gets their wish.

I’m sure most of you have heard of this and participated in it.  We used to argue over who would get to

pull on the wishbone.  We were certain we would get the larger part and with it our wish!


I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane as much as I have.  Being a Christian, I don’t

believe in superstitions.  I believe that we are in the loving hands of our Heavenly Father.  We can cast

all our cares upon Him.  He is our refuge and strength and ever present help in time of trouble, and a

strong tower that the righteous can run into and be safe.  But I do believe in blessings from God and

that is what I pray for every one of my readers.  May the Lord bless and keep you, make His face to

shine upon you and be gracious to you, and give you peace!


Thanks for stopping by.  I love company and my door is always open!


Please feel free to use the comment section for questions, comments, or to tell me if you know of

some superstitions I haven’t mentioned in this post.


While here, you might enjoy my post on how I decorate my artificial tree for each holiday.

You can find it here:

Decorating Your Artificial Tree for Each Holiday


Come back again soon.  I will be adding new content weekly.  I hope you enjoyed your visit.


At your service,












4 thoughts on “Friday the 13th – How my Mother Loved Superstitions

  1. Hey Jeannie

    I agree with you.

    Something that strikes most about them is the fact that if even if you don’t believe in those superstitions, you are inclined to believe them at the time you are faced with the opportunity to overlook them.

    You just remember who told you about them and before you overlook them, you have those words of that particular scenario coming back over and over again in your conscience.

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for commenting.

      I think that I like remembering just because they remind me of my mother. I don’t really remember if I believed them as a child; but I really wasn’t inclined to believe them after I got old enough to think for myself. That is why I called them stupercisions. 🙂

      I think after we get over the most of the mourning period for someone we love; it is nice to remember something about them that either makes you laugh, or something that was good about them. Remembering the superstitions makes me chuckle; because she had so many of them and tried to get us to abide by them as she did. Most of the time we just humored her and did what she said. I don’t know if she really believed them or if it was sort of a ritual with her. Maybe it was just what she was taught to do and so she did it.

      Thanks for stopping by. I love company! Come back again sometime. My door is always open.


  2. Love this post! So many here that I was aware of, but many that I am learning for the first time!

    A couple of extras:
    – If you pass by a wishing well, you must throw a coin in for good luck.
    – If you are in Co Cork in Ireland you must kiss the Blarney Stone for the gift of eloquence.

    How were most of these passed on to you? Was it mostly through family growing up?


    • Hi Tyler.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for adding to the collection. I have heard of those two; but not much from my parents. Most of these were ones that my parents taught me. My mother is the one who seemed to believe or at least practice them. So even though I don’t believe in superstitions, I like remembering her, and these were a part of her.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Come back again. I love company, and my door is always open.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *